It was so impressive to see the transformation over the course of the week. On the first day out there, I had serious jitters because I could sense a lot of doubt from the riders for being able to ride and piece something together. That's why this place is one of a kind. It is different, it is hard to read, it's blind, it's exposed. The dirt feels different. You can’t come here first time around with an ego because it will bite back. I picked these six girls because they exemplified what I thought it took to excel out here. They are powerful yet graceful, calculated yet daring. They are confident, but not overly so. They are well spoken, thoughtful and sponge-like. They are in a position in their careers where they are leaders and have influence. They embody what it is to be a professional athlete.
You could have cut the tension with knife on Saturday morning. You could feel the nervous energy so strongly. When we arrived at the venue, everyone was putting pads and gear on and all the sudden, we look up the hill and Hannah is dropping the big double drop within 30 minutes of arriving. Once Hannah did that, it was on. There was a real energy shift and excitement in the air. It is hard to imagine better firestarter for the day.
There were essentially 2.5 lines built. There was the party ridge which had Vero, Vaea, Vinny, and Tahnee. Gatto and Hannah each had separate drop ins and converged mid way down. The two of them also went and scratched in some existing old raw lines and rode those.
Over the course of the weekend, there was a lot of riding and sessions and then Sunday afternoon, each rider got individual top to bottom runs with all eyes and cameras on them. Darren, the Rampage starter, even counted them down... "Seagrave 3, 2, 1..."
The first thing to come out of Tahnee's mouth after riding the party ridge for the first time was "that felt so small, we could have gone so much bigger."
They are all keen to come back and push it even more.
One of my major goals for the week is that everyone would be safe. It was particularly impressive to me that not one girl crashed or even looked sketchy. I knew I didn’t have to worry about the judgment of this group or wonder if they were truly calculated, but crashes still happen. So to have them out there right up against their comfort zone and to see them rise to to occasion like that was so incredibly impressive. To me it all just feels kinda obvious, of course they could hold their own and rip it up out there, they are professional athletes who are among the best in the world at what they do.
And finally, this whole experience and execution was such a massive team effort. Everyone pulled their weight and contributed to the overall success. It felt like we were building a puzzle and everyone was a piece of that puzzle. From the riders and diggers, Rebecca Rusch, Jill Kintner, Michelle Parker & Tarah Geiger, everyone at Red Bull, the Red Bull community leaders, Todd Barber, Lisa Lefroy & the H5 crew, the Originate crew, the Stellar media crew, Paris Gore & Katie Lozancich, the medical crew & Ginger the physio, Larry Pugh, Erin Seely and her cooking crew, so many incredible people! Thank you to everyone!